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ATRICURE, INC.,
Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
JIAN MENG aka Larry Meng; BEIJING MEDICAL SCIENTIFIC CO. LTD. dba Med-Zenith,
Defendants-Appellants.
   No. 19-4067
Appeal from the United States District Court
for the Southern District of Ohio at Cincinnati.
No. 1:19-cv-00054—Michael R. Barrett, District Judge.
Decided and Filed: August 27, 2021
Before: GUY, LARSEN, and MURPHY, Circuit Judges.


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OPINION
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MURPHY, Circuit Judge. The Supreme Court has told lower courts to resolve some arbitration-related questions with a “healthy regard” for the Federal Arbitration Act’s “federal policy favoring arbitration.” Moses H. Cone Mem’l Hosp. v. Mercury Constr. Corp., 460 U.S. 1, 24 (1983). In this appeal, the defendants argue that this pro-arbitration presumption should permit them to enforce a contract’s arbitration clause even though they were not parties to, or third-party beneficiaries of, the contract. At one time, they had strong support for this view. Many circuit courts used the federal policy favoring arbitration to broadly enforce arbitration contracts in favor of (or against) nonparties under expansive readings of generic common-law concepts. See, e.g., Arnold v. Arnold Corp., 920 F.2d 1269, 1281–82 (6th Cir. 1990). Yet the Act’s text compels states only to treat arbitration contracts the same way that they treat “any contract.” 9 U.S.C. § 2. So the Supreme Court has since held that courts considering whether arbitration clauses cover nonparties should neutrally apply the relevant state law that otherwise governs. Arthur Andersen LLP v. Carlisle, 556 U.S. 624, 630–32 (2009). The Court did not say that any policy favoring arbitration should influence things. We thus see no room for this federal “dice-loading” rule of construction to resolve the state-law question. Antonin Scalia, A Matter of Interpretation 28 (1997); cf. Encino Motorcars, LLC v. Navarro, 138 S. Ct. 1134, 1142 (2018).

Instead, we must ask whether Ohio law, when fairly read, permits the defendants to enforce the arbitration clause even though they did not sign the contract. The defendants rely on two “equitable estoppel” theories and one “agency” theory as their grounds to do so. But their first estoppel theory rests on the outdated circuit decisions, which adopted a much broader estoppel test than the test applied by the Ohio Supreme Court. And the defendants forfeited their second estoppel theory. That said, the district court failed to ask the right question under Ohio law when rejecting the defendants’ agency theory. All told, then, while we agree that equitable estoppel does not apply, we remand one defendant’s agency claim for further proceedings. We thus affirm in part and reverse in part the district court’s order denying a stay of this suit pending arbitration.



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UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
ROLANDO K. JOHNSON,
Defendant-Appellant.
   No. 20-5980
Appeal from the United States District Court
for the Eastern District of Kentucky at London.
No. 6:17-cr-00038-1—Robert E. Wier, District Judge.
Decided and Filed: August 27, 2021
Before: BATCHELDER, McKEAGUE, and READLER, Circuit Judges.


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OPINION
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McKEAGUE, Circuit Judge. Defendant Rolando Johnson pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute oxycodone and to commit money laundering. Johnson was sentenced as a career offender under U.S.S.G. § 4B1.1(a) based on his two prior controlled-substance convictions. Johnson appealed, and we remanded for resentencing in light of our then-recent decision in United States v. Havis, 927 F.3d 382 (6th Cir. 2019) (en banc) (per curiam), which held that attempt crimes—including conspiracies—did not qualify as controlled-substance offenses for the purpose of § 4B1.1.

On remand, the district court held that Johnson no longer qualified as a career offender— bringing his criminal history down from Category 6 to Category 3—and sentenced him to 200 months of imprisonment. Johnson now appeals again, arguing that the district court should have conducted a de novo resentencing, rather than just reconsidering his career offender status.

. . .

In sum, the district court correctly interpreted our remand to be a limited one. The judgment of the district court is AFFIRMED.